The Worst Ways to Lose Weight

Did you know that more than 35% of adults in the United States are obese? Unfortunately, there are few topics more inconsistent and confusing than the topic of losing weight. As a regular person who genuinely wants to know how to lose those extra pounds you put on over Christmas or during the lazy days of summer, it can be frustrating to try to find something that actually works for you.

So I’d like to take a minute to clear the air. When it comes to weight loss, I know what doesn’t work. I also know that some of the weight-loss methods frequently touted online can actually be harmful to your health. Here are some of the top worst ways to lose weight.

Starving Yourself 

This one should be obvious, but you would be surprised if you knew how many people intentionally starve themselves in an effort to get rid of the bulge. You may even be one of them. But here’s why starving yourself is not the answer to your weight loss goals.

  • It causes healthy cells in your body to die due to lack of glucose
  • It lowers your metabolism and causes your body to be less efficient at burning calories
  • It negatively affects your immune system and can lead to more frequent illnesses
  • It can permanently damage your organs

Sure, starvation can temporarily lead to massive weight loss, but at what cost? Much of that weight is due to loss of muscle mass and water weight rather than fat loss. If you truly care about your body, refraining from eating is not the right way to lose weight. Instead, choose healthy, low-calorie foods to fuel your body throughout the day.

Exercising Too Much 

It’s great to live an active life, but it’s also possible to overdo it with intense exercise. Some people think they can melt the pounds away by working out from the moment they wake up to the instant they go to sleep. Like any obsessive activity, compulsive exercising throughout the day is harmful to physical and mental health. Here are the top reasons why you shouldn’t exercise too much while trying to lose weight.

  • Developing overuse injuries
  • Constantly feeling sore and tired
  • Depleting your body’s energy levels
  • Requiring longer rest periods
  • Being unable to perform as well as usual
  • Depression and irritability

These are just a few of the top ways excessive exercising can diminish your quality of life. Instead, exercise moderately each day and try to incorporate gentle activities (such as walking and taking the stairs instead of the elevator) into your daily life.

Using “Fad” Diets 

There is a reason “fad” diets have that name. They tend to garner a lot of interest and excitement for a little while, but then they become unpopular once people realize they don’t work. Here’s why you deserve better than a fad diet.

  • Fad diets are often associated with inadequate vitamin and mineral content
  • Some diets lead to dehydration and fatigue
  • Certain diets overload the digestive system and can lead to constipation or diarrhea
  • Most people gain back all (or more) of the weight they lose during fad diets

You deserve long-term weight loss and health, not just short-term weight loss that returns as soon as you stop a restrictive diet. Instead of jumping on the next extreme diet bandwagon, take a more conservative, sustainable approach to eating. The weight loss may come off slower, but it’s more likely to stay off.

No matter what method you use to lose weight, please stay away from the methods listed above. They’re not only unhealthy, but almost always end in disappointment because they don’t work for the long term. Feeding your body healthy foods, avoiding processed junk and staying active are the most effective, tried-and-proven methods for long-term weight loss.